Merch Education Series:
Part I

Welcome to our Crowdmade Merch Education Series.

We want to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of your production options with us, whether you’re a newbie or a merch master. As your creative partner, we will offer you multiple printing possibilities for your products, delivering the highest quality merchandise for your fans.

We can easily deliver bad merch but our clients keep coming back and the word keeps spreading because we deliver great merch. We are pride ourselves on honesty. Every great idea has printing limitations and it’s vital you know this ahead of time. We want you to feel that you’re part of our team, helping you to develop your merchandise. Crowdmade feels that educating our clients is a crucial step.

Our relationship with our creators, you, is based on trust, along with the quality of our products and our service. Our clients have confidence in our knowledge and our skills, and we aim to share that knowledge with you with our production education series.

What's DTG?

DTG stands for Direct to Garment. DTG printing is when a printer directly applies the ink onto a garment with inkjet technology. Think of DTG like a regular ink jet printer, except instead of printing on paper, it prints on garments.

DTG uses specialty water-based inks, which are absorbed by the fibers of the garment.

Similar to a computer printer, the ink colors are based on a CMYK pallet, blending Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create virtually unlimited color combinations.

DTG printing gives you several options and the freedom to customize your design without worrying about the quality of the end result.

DTG printing is ideal for smaller batch orders, which creates the best option for on-demand printing and testing. For larger orders, the volume increases the price due to the expense of ink.

DTG printing requires a high cotton count, therefore limiting the number of garments to choose from. We can assist you in selecting specific cotton blends that will garner a successful end product.

Understanding Screenprinting

Screen printing is a process where ink is applied directly onto a garment through a tight mesh stencil wrapped around a frame. The stencil opening is the space where the ink will create the design and the non-printing areas are blocked off. The ink is then pushed through the mesh by a blade or squeegee, transferring the design onto the fabric.

With screen printing, only one color can be applied at a time, therefore you’re limited with color options. It’s very cost effective for large batches, especially a simple design with one color. For multiple colors, an individually cut stencil needs to be created for each color and most machines have the capability to print only six different colors.

The cost of screen printing is mainly in the set-up time because each screen needs to be cut with a laser and aligned with the machine. The ink needs to be mixed and dry runs need to be completed to ensure quality. The advantages of screen printing are definitely in the volume as you can take advantage of lower costs for simple designs.

With screen printing, the details of your design are easily transferred to produce an end product that is very crisp, clean and consistent.

Embroidery: Hats, Jackets & More

Embroidery is a method where thread is stitched into your custom merchandise. It works well on garments such as shirts, jackets and hats and it doesn’t matter if they are cotton or polyester. Embroidery is a production option that can be put on virtually anything.

Embroidery creates a professional look, however some limitations come into play. The design needs to be simple and artwork, such as logos, may not be able to be recreated, especially if the text is too small and if drop shadows are in the design.

All artwork must be converted and digitized, translating it into a stich pattern for the machine. The process is not as simple as it sounds, since there are many elements involved, such as direction and length of each stitch. Someone who is skilled in delivering a quality embroidery product should know the limits and adjust accordingly. That someone is us.

 Embroidery is successful on most garments, especially hoodies and jackets, however nylon is the preferred fabric. The end product is very high and holds more value than other production options.

Embroidery is a more expensive option than screen printing, however similar to screen printing, the price goes down as the number of pieces go up. Price is also based on the number of stiches the artwork will require.

Since ink is not an element in embroidery, color matches can be limited and the resolution is not as high as a print.

Interested in working together?